The Mustangs have now had two decent seasons and a bowl win under their belt (as well as a very poorly played and frustrating bowl game). Now they are ready to take the next step: win C-USA.
SMU had the best recruiting class in about 25 years. Margus Hunt is back after surgery, and is better than ever. The offensive line now has six senior starters, and is stronger and faster than ever. The defense is improving by leaps and bounds, and SMU continues to reload at the wide receiver position. Aldrick Robinson is gone to the NFL, but Terrance Wilkerson (a three year player who can replace Robinson) is back from injury. Derrick Johnson is a deep threat, and there is a solid incoming class.
Now for the [skinny] elephant in the room: Kyle Padron. This gentleman did not have a great season last year (though it was OK). The Achilles heal (on offense) of the team in critical situations was the inability to convert passes in critical situations. One of the reasons for this was that other teams knew SMU was going to pass 4 out of five times any time it was third and >5 yards to go. The other problem was that Padron would not adjust is said situations (rather, he would stare down his primary receiver and force in a pass).
BUT...now the good news. Padron is not in his second full season as a starter, and just finished his second full offseason. He is learning the deeper playbook and has matured immensely. This will be the season that his full potential will be realized and he will either make or break this team. I think he will make the team because of the running game. Zach Line is fully healthy and a bunch of seniors are returning on offense, so the only way is up from the 81st running offense in the NCAA. Padron has the O-line and Zack line, which ends my bad lines on the last line and that's the bottom line. Huh?